Sailing with the Chardonnay in Santa Cruz, California

Swan Dive Media spent two days out on the Monterey Bay filming with Santa Cruz’s Chardonnay Sailing Charters—beer, wine, friends and fun cruising on the sea aboard two Santa Cruz 70 racing boats, such an amazing time with awesome people. This is one of the three social media branding videos we produced, featuring both the CII and the CIII.

Pro Surfer Autumn Hays welcomes us to Santa Cruz

Check out our recent production featuring Santa Cruz’s Autumn Hays. The story is a collaboration with Surfline and Visit Santa Cruz County, check it out! “As a surfer who’s grown up here my whole life, this is a place that never ceases to inspire me,” says Steamer Lane local Autumn Hays. “And what better way to learn an appreciation for our beautiful ocean than getting in it and catching a few waves? The experience makes you want to connect with nature — and that’s just part of the Santa Cruz lifestyle.”

Surfing Lake Malawi - Santa Cruz Waves Story series #3

Last July, Swan Dive Media was sponsored to produced a film about the work that Santa Cruz nonprofit H20 is doing in Malawi, Africa. Each year, H20, headed by longtime surfer Patrick “Paddy” Brady, ships out to Malawi where his teams facilitate setup for solar systems, help to build medical clinics, develop job training programs, and much more. But H20’s most obvious homage to Santa Cruz: the annual Lake Malawi Surf Contest. Stay tuned into Swan Dive Media for the full-length documentary on H20 in Malawi, releasing this December.

Visual Endeavors

Swan Dive Media recently profiled the work of design firm Visual Endeavors for the City of Santa Cruz’s Economic Development Department. The city chose to highlight their installation the spans the Sequel Bridge, illuminating the San Lorenzo River and telling an environmental story through the art pieces pulsing lights. Read the companion article written by Joel Hersch, which goes a little deeper on the story behind the installation, called “River Motion.”

Surfing Lake Malawi - Instagram short

Check out the condensed Instagram video short on the Santa Cruz nonprofit H20’s work in Malawi, Africa. The full length video, Surfing Lake Malawi, is the third installment of the Santa Cruz Waves Story series and can be found the magazine’s social media pages or right here on Be sure to pick up a copy of the Oct/Nov issue of the magazine to read the accompanying In Depth feature article on H20’s work in Africa, called “A Long Way to Lilongwe.”

Habitat for Humanity - Raising Families

Swan Dive Media recently completed a testimonial video for the local Habitat for Humanity nonprofit, featuring two families that recently became homeowners. Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay is an independent locally operated and funded affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Their mission is to build good, affordable homes and provide home ownership opportunities to qualified families who live and work in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties.

Gravity Water in Vietnam

Follow Swan Dive Media cinematographer Michael Daniel as he deploys to Vietnam with the Santa Cruz-based nonprofit Gravity Water. GW works in third world countries and disaster zones where safe, potable water is difficult to access. By building gravity fed, rainwater catchment tanks with filters that can be maintained easily and cheaply on location, the organization has helped to provide clean water for thousands of children.

Ebb & Flow River Festival

The Ebb & Flow Festival is a beautiful and innovative celebration put on by the the Arts Council Santa Cruz County. The event, which began in 2015, brings together the arts community and local science and organizations to raise pubic awareness of the value of the San Lorenzo River. The free, two-day festival promotes the river as a valuable water resource, city park, and habitat for over 200 species of wildlife.

Biagio Scarpello

Biagio Scarpello, of Santa Cruz, CA, is a mixed media sculptor who creates interactive art installations. His sculpture "Full Sails" was developed as a unique donation machine at the Museum of Art History in Santa Cruz’s downtown. Enjoy our short feature on his work and the way patrons interact with the installation. To learn more about Biagio Scarpello’s work visit

Nuclear Waste in San Onofre with Santa Cruz Waves magazine

In north San Diego County, the San Onofre Nuclear Power Generating Station is in the process of decommissioning, but the facility is now left with the task of storing 1,600 metric tons of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel. With such huge quantities of high level waste housed right next to the Pacific Ocean, many people are extremely concerned about what could happen in the event of a major accident.

Trailer: "Nuclear Waste in San Onofre"

Check out the trailer for Swan Dive Media's new film, Nuclear Waste in San Onofre. The story investigates the 1,600 metric tons of nuclear spent fuel being stored on the beach in Southern California. We're excited to release this mini documentary in partnership with Santa Cruz Waves magazine. A new series called Santa Cruz Waves Stories will showcase beautifully-crafted short films that pair with the articles written for the print publication. 

Real Estate Branding: Fern Flat

Swan Dive Media worked closely with The Kroft & Hulsey Team to develop a comprehensive media package showcasing  Fern Flat, eight and a half acres in the Santa Cruz Mountains. We spent the day touring the property, learning about the area, shooting photos, and coming up with the right theme show off just how beautiful this land really is. Learn more about Swan Dive Media's real estate marketing packages, editorial branding, photography services, and other tools we use to help you make your next big sale. Reach out today on our contact page! 

Santa Cruz Music Festival

On the coat tails of the annual Santa Cruz Music Festival event, Swan Dive Media's cinematographer Michael Daniel produced a short recap of the celebration, which was held at various venues throughout the city's downtown. This snippet highlights the fun at Abbott Square next to the Museum of Art and History, the set at San Lorenzo Park, and the Civic Auditorium! Until next year SCMF! 

"My House My Home" - Habitat for Humanity

Last fall, Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay rolled out a new housing program in Santa Cruz that aims to support senior homeowners as well as create new, affordable rental units on existing properties. The program is called “My House My Home,” which will develop Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) on senior homeowners’ properties. The new units will allow local senior citizens to rent out either their main house or the new ADU—also known as a granny unit—and generate sufficient income to cover their mortgage as well as afford their monthly expenses as a retiree.

Hand printing artist Russell Powell at Allterra Solar

Santa Cruz's Allterra Solar celebrates a diverse range of artists from all over the Bay Area. Most recently, the environmental firm showcased the works of Russell Powell, who has created his own unique hand stamping technique. The artist paints detailed illustrations on his own palm and then imprints onto his canvases. Powell's day job is that of a first grade teacher, which he says often inspires his illustrations. Watch the video learn more!

Aikido of Santa Cruz goes green

Aikido of Santa Cruz is a non-profit, public benefit, educational organization, serving the Santa Cruz community since 1982. The dojo, located on Mission Street, also invested in green energy with Allterra Solar, taking control of their energy expenses over the long term. Watch our short video on their referral program that generates $500 for the dojo every time one of their members decides to pursue solar for their own home. We spoke with their member Juliano, who works in research around climate change since moving to California from Brazil five years ago. Watch, learn, and enjoy!

Gravity Water in Vietnam

Swan Dive Media cinematographer Michael Daniel recently went to Vietnam to document the work being done by nonprofit Gravity Water. Their mission is to develop safe drinking water sources in developing nations around the globe. Check out the trailer to learn more!

"They want to take our jewels" - Congressman Jimmy Panetta

More than 1,000 people marched along West Cliff Drive last Saturday to protest a new proposal by the Trump Whitehouse. It would open up more than 90 percent of the nation’s waters to offshore oil and gas leasing.
Congressman Jimmy Panetta, who’s father Leon Panetta authored the legislation to establish the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary more than 40 years ago, took the White House’s threat head on.
“What we have here is a treasure chest of jewels,” says the congressman. “That is our treasure chest, and let me tell you, we have acted like pirates to protect it, and we will continue to do that.”

Swan Dive Media in Nepal—Gravity Water

Cinematographer Michael Daniel deployed to rural villages throughout Nepal to document the work being done by the Santa Cruz nonprofit Gravity Water. The organization is striving to address the lack of clean drinking water in disaster-struck regions of the world by installing gravity-powered water storage tanks, helping countless families otherwise left without safe, potable H20. Swan Dive Media is excited to continue documenting Gravity Water's important campaign across the globe.

Made Fresh Crew drops in on Plantronics

Swan Dive Media had an amazing time filming this short profile on artists collective Made Fresh Crew and their work at the Plantronics headquarters in Santa Cruz. This talented group of muralists turns turns the sides of buildings into beautiful IDEAS! No wall is safe. 

Swan Dive Media linking up with Fire Fly! Fire Fly 2 vape pens are one of the emerging cannabis market's highest quality vaporizing tools, providing an even burn and fully integrated control technology through your mobile device. Learn about Fire Fly's most recent app update, enabling customized settings  all with the ease of a cell phone. For best performance, download the app, follow the video's instructions, choose your preferences, and enjoy!

Allterra Solar hosts national immigration expert Ali Noorani

Allterra Solar hosts community forums to encourage discourse on important topics. Over the past few years, distinguished speakers and celebrated panels have delved into subjects such as water, education, economic development, and sustainability. Allterra recently hosted Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, and author of 'There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration' to discuss how the Central Coast can constructively address immigration.

Surf session at Steamer Lane with Tyler Fox

Just after sunrise at Santa Cruz’s Steamer Lane head-high sets rolled in from the northwest, producing glassy slabs of water for a dozen or so surfers. Check out Tyler Fox’s morning session—a ritual communion with the 57 degree ocean.

Music by Gramatik - “Native Son.”